Jadon Sancho has suffered another setback in his difficult start to life at Manchester United after being one of several players left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for their final World Cup qualifiers.
Southgate named a 25-man group on Thursday afternoon for this month's double-header against Albania and San Marino with Marcus Rashford, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire, Jude Bellingham, James Ward-Prowse and Ben Chilwell all earning recalls.
It represents a further blow for Sancho, who has struggled to settle in at Old Trafford following his £73 million move from Borussia Dortmund to the extent Southgate said he "probably did not deserve" his call-up for the previous squad.
Sancho has failed to register a goal or assist in 315 minutes of Premier League football so far this season and Southgate said: "With Jesse and with Jadon, they just aren't playing a lot of football compared to the other players in their positions.
"I know people say [I'm] inconsistent, but I don't think I am. If you're playing regularly for your club, you've got a much better chance of us assessing your level compared to the rest of the group.
"And sometimes there'll be players there'll be a lot of depth in one position, and there might not be as much depth in another position and a player that is in the position with less depth might have a better chance of getting in with less club time. With these two lads they've got great competition for places in the position as they play."
Confirming your #ThreeLions squad for November! 👊— England (@England) November 4, 2021
Dortmund midfielder Bellingham was recalled after missing October's fixtures with Southgate citing a need to protect young players in their development.
United striker Mason Greenwood was left out for the same reason last month yet has not returned, although Southgate denied the 20-year-old had turned down a call-up this time around.
"We haven't discussed it this month," he added. "We met with him in September and had a very good discussion and totally understand where he is. I said last month, with young players, their pathways are different, the load on them is different. He's at a massive football club with a lot of expectation and we don't want to move too quickly.
"He feels he's got a huge competition to establish himself at his club and he recognises that is a big part of making your way in international football anyway. So, with young players we want to get that right and it is important that these discussions happen all the time with players of this age."
However, Callum Hudson-Odoi appears to have rejected the chance to play for England's Under-21s, instead choosing to focus on forcing his way back into the senior setup by holding down a place at Chelsea.
The 20-year-old has earned three caps to date, the last of which came against Kosovo in November 2019 and Southgate added: "I had a good chat with Callum before last month's get-together because it is difficult if you are a young player, you've been with the senior team, he went back to play with the under 21s in the last cycle and then to go again in a second cycle, I can understand is a difficult challenge.
"So we would still like him to do that but he wants to back himself with his Chelsea form to get back into the seniors and I totally respect that. So by not being in the U21s he misses a bit of an opportunity to impress us and come across if we need players for training and those sorts of things."
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).